DC-3 Becomes Commercial Success

Delta Dc-3

The introduction of service on DC-3 marked the coming of age of the passenger air industry. Twenty one passengers could be comfortably seated on the plane. All major commercial airliners descended from the DC-3 and as late 1990 there were still some in service in the world.

Douglas Aircraft built the DC-3 at the request of TWA. TWA’s rival was using Boeing 247 aircraft for passenger service, and Boeing would not sell TWA until it finished fulfilling the orders for United. I 1933 Douglas designed the DC-1 which was followed by the DC-2. Douglas was then convinced to make changes to the DC-2 so it could be a sleeper aircraft- The DST standing for the Douglas Sleeper Transport flew for the first time on December 17, 1935. It had a cabin that was 92 inches wide and could hold either 14 sleeping berths or 21 seats it became the DC-3.

607 civilian version of the DC-3 was produced and 10,048 of the C-47 and C-53 the military version were built as well. At the end of the war, many of the military planes were converted into civilian aircraft, thus providing a fleet that was the initial backbone of the significantly expanding world of civilian aviation after World War II. The DC -3 proved so versatile and reliable that many of them were still flying in the 1990’s